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The Role of NGOs in Search and Rescue Operations in the Context of the European Union Migration Crisis
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

The Role of NGOs in Search and Rescue Operations in the Context of the European Union Migration Crisis

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2020-3-77-91
© Uliana A. STOLIAROVA, 2020
Received 21.09.2020
Uliana A. Stoliarova (stolarovauliana@yandex.ru), student of the Faculty of World Politics, Department of International Organizations and World Political Processes.
Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation.

In the early 2010s due to the aggravation of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, the European Union faced an unprecedented escalation of the migration problem, which put serious pressure on many EU mechanisms. The article analyzes Brussels’ response to the increase in the number of victims in the Mediterranean Sea during the migration crisis, which peaked in 2015. The adoption of new initiatives that were aimed at easing the immigration issue did not lead to the expected results. The EU struggled to cope with a rise in the number of migrants who sought to reach European shores. The real challenge for the arriving migrants was crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Amid the increase in unmanaged flows of refugees and regular shipwrecks that led to the death of many migrants, non-governmental organizations stepped out. The organization and conduct of search and rescue operations (SARs) by NGOs led to the emergence of a new type of SARs, non-state ones, since even large NGOs began to conduct such operations for the first time. The article examines the contribution of European non-governmental organizations to the provision of search and rescue operations, as well as analyzes the main problems and challenges that these NGOs faced while implementing such activities from 2014 to 2020. It is concluded that European non-governmental organizations have saved tens of thousands of lives of migrants and refugees, thus becoming an important element in the EU’s migration crisis settlement. At the same time, they faced a number of problems and challenges, including criticism from some EU member states, which considered the activities of NGOs as a pull-factor for new migrants.

For citation:

Stoliarova U. The Role of NGOs in Search and Rescue Operations in the Context of the European Union Migration Crisis. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2020, no 3, pp. 77-91. https://doi.org/10.20542/afij-2020-3-77-91

© IMEMO 2021